A presentation to the LCS Board at the May 13, 2019 agenda workshop by the company (EDULOG) hired to redesign the bus system noted that “courtesy stops” and ESE students would not be a part of the “optimization study.”
From the study:
The scope of the investigation of all three questions was defined to include transportation-eligible general education students attending 44 schools/programs (including two IB schools).
The study identified approximately 2,500 students who would not be eligible for transportation based on the distance from their school. Courtesy stops are stops for students that are less than two-miles form their school.
The 2,500 impacted students identified in the study is more than the number of impacted students identified in a LCS letter released in late 2018. That communication stated that 1,000 students would be impacted.
The study also noted that ESE students would not be part of the optimization plan.
The scope defined by Leon County Schools specifically excluded Exceptional Student Education (“ESE”) students, due to the high level of individualization and variability of ESE transportation, both of which introduce data noise in any comparative impact study.
After the first day of school a number of parents with ESE children said that they waited for buses that never arrived. Also, they were told by LCS later in the day that they had to pick up their children after school.
A representative from EDULOG told the LCS Board at the regularly scheduled August 13th meeting that the problems during the first day of school were attributed to a data problem and a new approach to route optimization that was not well received by the bus drivers.
It was revealed that the LCS Board was not made aware of the data issue, which occurred on July 24th.
The Director of Transportation Services, Manny Joanos, took responsibility for not informing the Board.
Also, the LCS Board was informed that changes to the plan would be implemented beginning Friday that should make it more “driver friendly.”
These changes include keeping the same bus driver for the morning and afternoon routes and restoring courtesy stops for elementary schools.